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apartheid

Separate Development Policy

Under the prime ministership of Hendrik Verwoerd apartheid developed into a policy known as "separate development," whereby each of the nine African (Bantu) groups was to become a nation with its own homeland, or bantustan. An area totaling about 14% of the country's land was set aside for these homelands, the remainder, including the major mineral areas and the cities, being reserved for the whites. The basic tenet of the separate development policy was to reserve within the confines of the African's designated homeland rights and freedoms, but that outside it blacks were to be treated as aliens.

Movement to and between other parts of the country was strictly regulated, the location of residence or employment (if permitted to work) was restricted, and blacks were not allowed to vote or own land. Thus African urban workers, including those who were third- or fourth-generation city dwellers, were seen as transients, their real homes in rural reservations from which they or their ancestors migrated. Only those holding the necessary labor permits, granted according to the labor market, were allowed to reside within urban areas. Such permits often did not include the spouse or family of a permit holder, contributing to the breakup of family life among many Africans.

Most African urban dwellers had to live in townships on a city's perimeter. All Africans living outside the bantustans were subject to strict curfew regulations and passbook requirements, especially in the cities; if unable to produce these when challenged, they were subject to arrest. The police were granted sweeping powers of preventive detention in 1962, initially for 30 days, later for indefinite periods.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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